As a security guard, when Ronnie Williams met a door unlocked at Trinity School of Medicine, he was expected to secure it.
However, he entered the room and stole US$121 from a wallet inside.
The CCTV footage did not record the actual theft. However, it showed the amount of time that he spent inside the room.
The theft did not only end Williams’ 10-year stint as a security guard. Despite the pleading of his lawyer, he was handed a one year prison term.
On Monday, at Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, Williams pleaded guilty to a charge that between Sept. 24 and 27, at Ratho Mill, he entered Room #101 of Jewels Caribbean Apartments as a trespasser and stole US$121 in cash, the property of Andrew Wolfram, of Ratho Mill and the United States.
The court heard that Wolfram is a US citizen and medical student at Trinidad School of Medicine at Ratho Mill, where Williams, of Rockies, St. Vincent, is a security guard.
The virtual complainant lives on the ground floor of the apartments, located next to the campus of the medical school, which also manages the apartments.
Wolfram’s apartment has a single slide window on the southern side, which is secured by a latch, and a wooden panel door on the northern side, which is secured by an entrance lock.
On Sept. 24, about noon, the virtual complainant placed US$121 in cash in his wallet, which he then placed in his backpack.
He took the bag containing the wallet to class with him on Sept. 25, 26, and 27 but had no need to use cash during those days. He therefore did not check for his wallet.
About 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 27, Wolfram put his bag and its contents in a room in his apartment then left for the gym.
Before leaving, he closed his apartment’s door but did not lock it.
About 6 p.m. the virtual complainant returned home and everything appeared to be intact.
Then, about 30 minutes later, he was in conversation with a friend about making payment for an item.
As a result, he checked for his wallet and discovered that all the cash was missing from it.
Wolfram reported the matter to the school’s management and the CCTV footage at the apartment were reviewed.
The footage showed Williams entering Wolfram’s apartment through the door about 5:10 p.m. on Sept. 27 and spending some time inside before leaving.
The matter was reported to the police on the following day, Sept. 29 and detective Corporal 334 Harry visited conducted
The officer took Williams to the Calliaqua Police Station and conducted a thorough search of his person and property and found one white envelope containing US$121 in cash amongst Eastern Caribbean Currency.
Williams admitted to the offence during an interview with police.
During the arraignment before Magistrate John Ballah, defence counsel Carl Williams asked that his client not be sent to prison.
However, after consulting the sentencing guideline, the magistrate settled on a one year prison term.
The lawyer then urged the court to suspend the sentence.
However, Ballah declined to do so, saying:
“He was the security guard. If he was walking around and meet a door open, he was to lock it; not to go in and search through a bag and remove money from the wallet.”
The lawyer again asked the court to suspend the sentence, noting that his client had worked at the school for 10 years without incident.
The magistrate, however, asked the lawyer why he should depart from the sentencing guidelines.